Professional Speaker, Best-Selling Author, Talk Show Host
She learned the art of business survival as a single working mother. Widowed at a young age, she struggled to advance in male dominated companies in an effort to provide for her children. She put herself through college and secured top level positions in some of the nation’s leading organizations (GE, IDX, Perot Systems Corporation, ZirMed and PwC). Today she works as a Healthcare Executive in IT for a hyper growth SaaS healthcare technology company, and spends a significant amount of her waking moments living her passion by helping businesses create women friendly workplaces, speaking on the topic of advancing women at work, creating a personal brand to ensure success, work life balance, and closing the pay gap.
Her last book, “CEO of YOU”, released January 2014. It was written to help employees manage their careers and their earnings. Her newest project is a Raise Webinar series named after her talk show titled 3DaystoaRaise.
She writes for her popular motivational blog ‘Winning Strategies’, read by thousands for motivation and encouragement and is a featured expert on the Plaid for Women website. She is a listed speaker for That-A-Girl Speakers Bureau. She was named one of the top 25 Women to Watch in Dallas by the Dallas Business Journal in 2010, is named as one of the top 100 branding experts to follow on Twitter, and her book ‘Brand YOU’ hit #1 in Advertising on Amazon the first week of its release.
She was chosen to do a TEDx Talk in December of 2013 and continues to press the limits of possibilities for women around the globe.
Ruth Brinkley, KentuckyOne Health
KentuckyOne Health was established that year from the merger of Louisville-based Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Lexington, Ky.-based Saint Joseph Health System. The system also formed a partnership with the University of Louisville Hospital and its affiliated James Graham Brown Cancer Center in late 2012.
Prior to her work with KentuckyOne, Ms. Brinkley served as president and CEO of Tucson, Ariz.-based Carondelet Health Network for four years and as president and CEO of Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Memorial Health Care System for five years. Ms. Brinkley also spent a portion of her career as senior vice president for performance management with Catholic Health Initiatives. Today, she is senior vice president of operations for Denver-based CHI, KentuckyOne’s parent organization.
Ms. Brinkley calls Girard, Ga., her hometown. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from DePaul University in Chicago, and today she serves on DePaul’s board — one of her several civic commitments. She is also a founding member of the Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation, and she’s received the UnBought and UnBossed Award from Girls, Inc., which recognizes women who have had a significant impact on improving the lives of girls and other women.
Ms. Brinkley has a son named Bruce and daughter named Aisha, along with two grandchildren.
Elizabeth Bierbower, Humana
President, Employer Group Segment
Bierbower started her career at Humana in 2001. As product innovation leader, she drove the consumer strategy that included development of new products and services that helped position Humana as a leader in consumerism. Beth led the development of some of Humana’s most notable products, including SmartSuite.
Bierbower has published a book titled Engage! A Guide to Involving Your Consumers in their Health. Beth is a frequent speaker and has served as chair of a number of industry conferences. She is frequent contributor to LinkedIn and Twitter and maintains a blog on Tumblr – A Seat at the Table.
She earned a master’s in public management, graduating with highest honors, from Carnegie Mellon University.
General Session Speakers
Ralph de Chabert, Brown-Forman
Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer
Ralph has also been a nuclear insurance underwriter, a partner in a men’s clothing store and a teacher and basketball coach in the Cleveland, Ohio school systems. He currently serves as Board Chair for The Muhammad Ali Center and the Tri-State Minority Supplier Development Council, both in Louisville, KY and he also serves on the boards of Walden School, Wednesday’s Child and Jefferson Community and Technical College. Ralph graduated from St. Francis College in Biddeford, Maine. He has done graduate work at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont and holds Masters Degrees in Education and Human Resources and Organizational Development from John Carroll University and the University of San Francisco, respectively.
Ralph is married with a daughter, son and a nephew and when he is not spending time at work or with the family, he can be found reading and enjoying music.
Emily Johnson, UPS
Vice President, UPS Air Group Legal and Public Affairs
Emily earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, from Northwestern University in 1994. In 1997, Emily earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Georgia State University, where she was a member and Associate Editor of the Georgia State University Law Review. Following law school, she completed a federal clerkship with the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.
Emily began her UPS career in 2004 as an attorney in the UPS Corporate Legal Department. Immediately prior to assuming her current position in 2015, Emily supported UPS’s Healthcare Logistics business by assisting the company’s Healthcare Compliance function, Healthcare Strategy group, and business leaders navigate the complex federal, state and international legal landscape in order to provide solutions for UPS customers relating to the distribution of medical products such as pharmaceuticals, biologics, controlled substances, and medical devices. Emily also supported the UPS Postal Strategy team.
Emily also previously had responsibility for employment related strategy and policy matters in the UPS Corporate Legal Department’s Labor and Employment group. She worked closely with UPS’s Human Resources function for all UPS business units throughout the United States; managed a broad array of employment disputes in federal and state court and administrative agencies; had responsibility for the Labor and Employment group’s centralized legal training program, restructuring initiatives, and policy and process initiatives; and served on multiple corporate committees for UPS. She also served as the union campaign legal advisor for the Company’s Logistics and Distribution business unit.
Prior to joining UPS, Emily worked as a labor and employment attorney at a national law firm based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Emily and her husband, Tim, live in Louisville with their two young sons, Sandy and Oliver.
Mary McFarland, M.Ed., Fifth Third Bank
Vice President, Engagement & Inclusion Partner
Susan Lonowski, Frost Brown Todd
Member, Labor and Employment Department
Prior to joining Frost Brown Todd, Susan was a law clerk for the Honorable Joseph H. McKinley, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Owensboro Division. She is admitted to practice in Kentucky. She is also admitted to practice in the Sixth and Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States District Court of the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky and the Southern District of Indiana.
Kelley Bright, Ernst & Young LLP
Business Development Leader
In addition to her duties as the Kentucky business development leader, Kelley leads the practices Professional Women’s Network (PWN). The PWN network is responsible for mentoring and growing women in the practice.
Kelley is a graduate of Western Kentucky University with a Bachelors Degree in marketing and management. She a graduate of the 2007 Leadership Louisville Ignite program and 2009 Bingham Fellows. Kelley was also a Forty under Forty honoree.
Kelley’s civic and professional organization responsibilities include: Women Influencing Women (President), Unbridled Eve Charities benefiting Blessing in a Backpack (Executive Committee), Junior Achievement (Company Champion and 14 years teaching), Women 4 Women (Committee Member), Financial Executives International (Member), and Institute for Internal Auditor (Member).
Erica Lee Williams, District Court Judge
State of Kentucky, 30th Judicial District, Division 17
Most recently, she was featured in Louisville Magazine as one of the 50 most powerful people in Louisville. Additionally, she was selected as one of 40 of the most influential women in the community by Business First and served as a mentor for the 2014 Bizwomen Mentoring Monday Event. Judge Williams served as the Keynote Speaker for the 2014 McDonald’s Black History Makers of Tomorrow annual scholarship program.
Prior to the bench, she was a practicing attorney at Dinsmore & Shohl, one of the largest law firms in the region. Her practice focused on areas of law including: labor and employment, commercial litigation, workers’ compensation and media law.
In 1999, she received her undergraduate degree from Western Kentucky University. She later received her Juris Doctor from the University of Kentucky in 2002. Judge Williams serves on the Board of Directors for the Governor’s Scholars Program, as well as the University of Kentucky College of Law Alumni Association. As a member of the Louisville Bar Association, she serves on the Diversity Taskforce, Summer Law Institute Program Committee, and Summer Internship Program Committee. Judge Williams is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Louisville Bar Association, Family & Children’s Place and Canaan Christian Church.
In addition to her work in the courthouse, Judge Williams mentors many students at area schools including Central High School’s Law and Government Magnet Program. She has collaborated with Indian Trail Elementary to aid with their innovative MicroSociety Program. Judge Williams served as the 2010 Honorary Chair for the 2nd Annual Lupus Foundation of America’s – Walk for Lupus Now event in Louisville, Kentucky.
Judge Williams is married to Louisville native, Jason C. Williams, a corporate attorney with Frost Brown Todd LLC. In 2012, both Judge Williams and her husband were recognized as Business First “Forty under 40” honorees. They have one daughter, Jacqueline Chase.
Diane Bailey-Boulet, Humana
Learning Program Manager, Executive Leadership
Christen Boone, Fund for the Arts
President & CEO
Before joining the Fund for the Arts, Christen served in leadership roles for some of the country’s most treasured cultural institutions and has raised nearly $250 million for regional nonprofit organizations including Actors Theatre of Louisville, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and Cincinnati’s Fine Arts Fund. She served as Director of the Greater Louisville Project and founded the Boone Group, coaching and consulting in nonprofit and community development. Christen led the efforts to raise more than $120 million to build The Parklands of Floyds Fork, one of the nation’s largest new urban parks. Stretching 4,000 acres, The Parklands is the size of eight Central Parks and is lauded as one of the 21st century’s great legacy projects. She serves on the national Private Sector Council for the Americans for the Arts, and locally on the board of the Governors Scholars Program and Foundation. She was recognized as a 40 Under 40 leader by Business First, and as Volunteer of the Year by SafePlace Services.
Diane Nguyen, Brown-Forman
Vice President, Human Resources Director, Global Production
Nguyen is an accomplished human resource professional with over 20 years leadership experience working in corporate and manufacturing environments. At Brown-Forman, Diane has served in HR Business Partner roles supporting Global Production and Global Marketing.
Prior to joining Brown-Forman in 2008, Nguyen spent 10 years with Colgate-Palmolive. She also held human resources positions in the healthcare, distribution and banking industries.
Nguyen received her Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Louisville and her undergraduate degree in business from Eastern Kentucky University.
Tim Findley, Norton Healthcare
System Director, Diversity and Inclusion
Breakout Session Speakers
Hope Zoeller, HOPE (Helping Other People Excel), llc
Facilitator of Leader Success, Founder and President
Dr. Zoeller lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband Dr. Joe DeSensi. In her spare time, she enjoys international travel and yoga.
Cara Silletto, Crescendo Strategies
Founder & President
Raylene Browne, Norton Healthcare
Director, Business Development, Strategic & Business Planning
Dr. Carrie Burton, Productive Learning LLC
Carrie Burton is an enthusiastic, knowledgeable leadership and organization development consultant with over 25 years of successful facilitation of meaningful strategic planning and leadership development programs.
After surviving a serious medical emergency in 2003, Carrie took her ‘second chance’ and left the role of teacher education professor to create Productive Learning LLC. Since then, she has dedicated her professional endeavors to working her mission of helping people Make Every Day at Work a GREAT DAY!
Carrie’s unique mix of energy and expertise has inspired many leaders, workgroups, and associations to focus on making meaningful changes. She excels at interacting and building relationships with working professionals, spreading the power and practicality of vision, and helping others discover the role of “believing” and “focus” in everyday satisfaction and success.
During her doctoral preparation in Leadership Development, Carrie focused her studies on adult experiential learning theory which culminated in a thesis on the adaptive learning style of classroom teachers. With a thorough grasp of adult learning, her additional study in emotional and social intelligence led to certification to administer the Emotional and Social Competency Inventory, an instrument designed to measure the strengths of leaders and provide a reliable foundation for coaching and professional development of competencies proven for success.
In addition to facilitating group sessions in leadership development and strategic planning, Carrie also enjoys mentoring leaders using cognitive coaching and mindfulness. She teaches these skills in her Mindful Mentoring courses.
Dr. Burton’s experience includes: 5 years as professor of education at Bellarmine University and Indiana University Southeast, both in the Louisville, Kentucky region; 10 years of high school classroom teaching and leadership of school-wide improvement planning processes; over 10 years of organization development consulting, with two years as internal consultant at a large regional travel management company. Carrie’s client list includes both large and small, for and not-for-profit organizations representing various service industries, healthcare and manufacturing.
Carrie and her husband Gary are proud of their three children Kevin, Daniel and Franci who have each taught them the value and joy of unrestricted love. In addition to spending her time with family and friends, Carrie enjoys reading, watching classic movies, vacationing at the beach, and creating an HGTV- inspired comfy-nest feel in her home!
Learn more about Carrie at www.prolearnlead.com
Debra Walton Wells, Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities
Manager, Inclusion and Diversity
Wells serves on the boards of The Healing Place, St. George Scholar Academy, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Previously she served as a director with Hosparus, Family and Children’s Place, the St. Stephen Family Life Center and the Center for Nonprofit Excellence. She also leads the Business Diversity Network of Kentucky. She is a member of Westwood Presbyterian Church.
She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Journalism from Wayne State University in Detroit and a Master of Science in Organization and Human Development from American University in Washington DC.
Debra’s favorite pastimes are cooking and connecting. She and her husband, Rev. Dr. Brian Wells, have three adult children and a grandson, VJ.
Sheri Fella, Butler University
Executive Director, Butler Corporate & Executive Education
Her experience and education make her just at ease helping clients work through start-ups, growth phases, large corporate shifts, non-profit challenges or major life transitions. Sheri thrives for the right balance of being and doing. Being genuine is her hallmark state. She thrives in global experiences, and is all about humor, heart, and giving back in big and small ways. Sharing the journey with her clients is what fuels her passion.
Anne Thompson, Butler University
Faculty Partner, Butler Corporate & Executive Education
Anne has 20+ years’ experience working with corporations, non-profit organization and higher education institutions including Ford Motor Company, Butler University, United Way and Ivy Tech Community College. Anne’s family includes her husband, son and sweet pooch named Bailey. She loves to travel and experience other cultures, having traveled to 6 continents and 30+ countries. She is an avid reader of mystery novels, a dog lover, an advocate for women and huge Ohio State Buckeye fan.
Julie McGregor, KentuckyOne Health
Vice President, Human Resources
Kim Tharp-Barrie, Norton Healthcare
System Vice President, Institute for Nursing and Workforce Outreach
Most recently, Kim’s honors include being awarded the Medical News 2013 Medistar A.O. Sullivan Award for Excellence in Education, the Transylvania University 2013 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, and the 2013 Webster University Robert D. Hess Outstanding Faculty Award. Today’s Woman Magazine recognized Kim in the Most Admired Woman Award category for health care in 2007 through 2010. Kim was inducted into the Bellarmine University Gallery of Distinguished Graduates in 2000, and in 2002 inducted into the Transylvania University Pioneer Hall of Fame. Kim is active in the Louisville community where she serves on the board of the Center for Women and Families, the American Heart Association, and is a co-founder for the Circle of Red Society with the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women. Kim holds adjunct professor status with University of Kentucky, Rush University, Bellarmine University, Spalding University, Webster University and McKendree University where she most enjoys applying her 30 years of clinical and operational expertise to promote academic progression for the students she serves.
Emma Brown, 55,000 Degrees
Director of Community Engagement
Brown has served on several on the boards of several nonprofit organizations and is an active volunteer. She is currently a national volunteer for her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, managing a team of volunteers and providing training and coaching to these volunteers. Last year, she cofounded a new young professionals giving circle, [give]502, in partnership with the Community Foundation of Louisville. Her prior board experience includes YPAL, Louisville Girls Leadership and the BIG team for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Laura Stallard, Mountjoy Chilton Medley, LLP
Her consulting includes all facets of plan administration from design, plan document preparation and review, compliance testing, regulatory changes, drafting of various government forms and financial statements. Laura has also represented clients in Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) examinations as well as completed fiduciary and compliance reviews for retirement plans. She is a frequent guest speaker on issues impacting the employee benefits community.
Jennifer Mackin, The Oliver Group
President & CEO
The Oliver Group has an experienced team of consultants advising more than 300 businesses nationwide. The Oliver Group’s client impact has grown tremendously over the last 27 years, assisting private equity investors, CEOs, entrepreneurs and other senior leaders in healthcare, hospitality, distribution, government, manufacturing, higher education, banking, financial services and social services.
Jennifer is a leadership thought leader and speaks to various audiences about developing future leadership talent and preparing organizations for future change. She has consulted with companies in this arena since 1994. Her current leadership role requires strategic direction of The Oliver Group while supporting her management team and also consulting directly with select clients. Growth and change have been substantial for The Oliver Group with double-digit average growth for more than eight consecutive years. Jennifer is currently a board member and executive committee member of Greater Louisville, Inc., the Louisville Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the boards of Mountjoy Chilton Medley LLP and the University of Louisville Family Business Center.
Jennifer earned her B.S. in Marketing from Indiana University in Bloomington and her M.B.A. from Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt University. She and her husband have three sons and live in Louisville, Kentucky.